Banana & Sour Cream Bread a la Martha Stewart

I long associated Martha Stewart with Superwoman, someone I try hard NOT to be. I’m a lousy housekeeper who can’t survive without a cleaning lady. I cook but let my husband do the dishes. I even pile dirty clothes in a corner of our bedroom like a teenager at heart. In other words, I may be the anti-Martha.

I remember watching her show years ago when Martha was showing how to make a three-tier wedding cake from scratch, including pretty little marzipan flowers. I freaked. Not only did it feel out of my comfort zone, it felt out-of-touch with my life (apologies to women who are into tiered wedding cakes, I mean no diss). Bottom line, I never watched the show again.

Years passed during which time I became a full-time food writer always on the lookout for interesting recipes. And so it happened one day that, planning for a get-together, I pulled a recipe for spicy ginger cocktail nuts out of my Filemaker 8,000+ recipe database. A Martha recipe. I may have snorted “yeah right” and certainly I hesitated, my bias was that strong. But I am both pecan and ginger crazy, so I put my reservations aside and cooked the best darn cocktail nuts of my life. Thus started my Martha rehab.

When I joined the Twitterverse a year ago, only a few weeks passed before I received notification that Martha Stewart was following me. I fell off my chair. I was stunned, excited and, dare I say, a bit stressed out. I’m not starstruck, believe me. I have worked with Québec artists on various advertising projects, I even crossed path late at night in a Montreal park with my personal idol — theatre guru Robert Lepage — and never even stopped to say hi. Still, given the blood rushing to my head, Martha following me on Twitter meant… something… I actually received congratulatory tweets from people, so obviously it also meant something in the larger realm of things?

I have never cooked a complicated Martha Stewart recipe. Baby steps, you know. But here are two favourites, the cocktail pecans of course, and the sour cream banana bread. A certain 4 year old helped with the bread baking last night, perched atop his chair in front of the kitchen counter. Messy but fun—and that’s a good thing. Sorry, Martha (is it okay if I call you Martha?), I couldn’t resist.

Mommy Insight: By the way, you know that thing experts say: When a child helps to choose or prepare the food, he is more likely to eat it. Duh. Kiddo baked but refused to taste. I may not be Superwoman but unless it’s chocolate cake, he remains Superpicky.


  • 1. First preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and butter a standard loaf pan.
  • 2. Using a hand or electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar, then beat in eggs.
  • 3. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix into butter mixture until just combined. Add in bananas, sour cream, and vanilla, mixing just enough. Incorporate nuts, then pour into loaf pan.
  • 4. Bake about 1 hour 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean (with my oven, it took 1 hour).
  • 5. Rest in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.